The New Catalog of Strong Earthquakes in the USSR

Catalogs of Earthquakes in Russia
The New Catalog of Strong Earthquakes in the USSR (Shebalin and Kondorskaya, 1974), was the first attempt to collect all the data for strong earthquakes together, both for seismological and macroseismic observations. In 1984, data through 1977 were added and the New Catalog was translated in English.

The New Catalog consists of huge volume of data, carefully collected and critically analyzed. The macroseismic and instrumental data were made compatible by development of method of estimation the epicenter, depth and magnitudes from macroseismic data. The method detail explained in New Catalog. When use data from General Catalog one can feel this methodical basis of New Catalog.

Note that the New Catalog was not used directly in the General Catalog. All earthquakes were taken, the format was near the same. However, not all the data from the New Catalog were included in the General Catalog. Specifically, no comments, references or information on macroseismic effects were included, and only some maximum intensity (Io) determinations.

Sources of data

The main principles used in preparing the New Catalog were to use all available information for each earthquake, and to estimate the most probable values for each of the basic focal parameters. The compilers did not limit themselves to using basic, well-known sources. Attempts were made to seek additional information, through research done in archives and elsewhere. Even for the period 1911- 1957, covered by the "Atlas of Earthquakes In the USSR", many "new" earthquakes were found. The list of references used as a sources of data comprises 20 pages of the published Russian text, and about 30 pages of foreign-language versions.

To compile a chronological foundation for the New Catalog, data were taken from:

In addition, even more numerous papers and investigations dealing with individual earthquakes were reviewed, as well as archive materials, reports of seismic correspondents, extracts from geographic descriptions by travelers and regional specialists, reports in the Soviet and foreign newspapers, etc. One specific task of the work with the sources was the elimination of errors, mainly in dating, because every error in date, particularly in early sources, is then repeated in subsequent summaries making one earthquake appear as two events.